A gruesome comic book crime thriller detested by its creator is still ripping opinion limb from limb
No matter how much you hate Hollywood’s adaptations of the Alan Moore back catalogue, you’ll never detest them anywhere near as much as the eccentric comic book genius does, with From Hell marking the first of several blockbusters based on his work that saw him sever ties with the industry for good.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and its subsequent HBO series all have plenty of fans – and even won varying degrees of acclaim – but Moore couldn’t care less. To be fair, From Hell didn’t get bashed as badly as several others, but even then, it’s not as if the bearded savant was showering it in praise.
He wanted Sean Connery for the leading role of Frederick Abberline, but ended up with Johnny Depp instead, and he wasn’t best pleased at the hardened detective being refitted into what he called an “absinthe-swilling dandy.” Nevertheless, the Hughes brothers’ period-set serial killer thriller proved to be a mild critical and commercial success.
More than 20 years on from its release, and the opinion-splitting retelling of the Jack the Ripper murders remains as polarizing as ever, at least on the forums of Reddit. An unsung masterpiece, or a bloated and uninteresting bore? It all depends on who you ask, but one thing’s for sure; a consensus is never going to be reached anytime soon, if at all.
There’s probably going to be a reboot eventually, so maybe a second coat of paint will manage to win over more of the doubters.